Wakeboarder dies after Lake Sonoma fall

A Santa Rosa man who was injured while wakeboarding on Lake Sonoma Sunday died at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Thursday night, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.

He was identified as 32-year-old Brian Allan Edwards.

The pilot of the boat, Andrew Scheff, 30, of Santa Rosa, was arrested on suspicion of boating under the influence. He appeared in Sonoma County Superior Court Friday morning where Deputy District Attorney Robert Maddock informed the court of Edwards’ death.

Judge Arthur Wick then re-scheduled Scheff’s arraignment for Aug. 17.

Scheff’s attorney Jeffrey Vallens said his client and Edwards were life-long friends:

“This is an absolute tragedy no matter how you look at it.”

Edwards was wakeboarding in the Dry Creek area of the lake when he fell as the boat traveled around 20 mph, sheriff’s Sgt. Cecile Focha said.

Edwards suffered a cut on his head when he it hit the wakeboard but was able to swim back to the boat, Focha said. He complained of back pain and his injuries worsened as the boat headed to a private marina where the boaters called 911.

Scheff appeared under the influence of alcohol when the sheriff’s office’s marine unit responded around 8 p.m. His blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit to operate a boat safely, Focha said.

Scheff initially was booked in the Sonoma County Jail for boating under the influence resulting in injury. He posted bail and remains out of custody pending the filing of a complaint.